L’AMOUR EN GUÉRISON BY FISHEYE MAGAZINE JUNE 2020
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF INTERVIEW FISHEYE MAGAZINE
HEALING LOVE BY CASSANDRE THOMAS
In Borders of Nothingness -On the Mend, Margaret Lansink illustrates the reunion with her daughter. A moving book in which the Dutch photographer uses artistic metaphors to deliver her family's story
.In July 2018, at the Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles, Fisheye discovered the moving project Borders of Nothingness. A black and white series in which Margaret Lansink exposes her emotions in the face of the loss of contact with a loved one, her daughter. The story continues and now takes the form of a second opus: Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend. An intimate encounter with Margaret Lansink.
Fisheye: Photographer, mother, artist, visual artist, who are you?
Margaret Lansink: There's a picture of me at 12-13 with a camera in my hand. Even at that age, I was already the "photographer" of my friends and that never really left my life. When my children grew up, I returned to a more professional approach to the medium, working for a regional newspaper. In 2010, I took photography classes to get a more solid training. Otherwise, I am above all open-minded and warm-hearted. I am constantly looking for the positive side of life.
How was your Borders of Nothingness project born?
At a certain point, my eldest daughter decided to suspend all contact with me. The grief aroused during an artist's residency in Japan, and I had a hard time dealing with it. So I took out my camera to deal with it. I created images not out of grief, but rather out of the love I felt for her as a mother. That's where the title of the series, Borders of Nothingness, comes from. I was sure that we would meet somewhere, one way or another.
What happened next?
Eventually we found each other again. I went through the previous images, tore them up and put them together in new collages as new impressions of those memories for her. I made a book of them, Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend. I added to the title "On the Mend", it is a sequel, I wanted it to be positive. This book is a reflection of the relationship with my daughter over the last five years.
This book reveals a very intimate and painful part of your life. Is it a cure for you?
I can only photograph what touches me, or at least what is important to me. My series are often the fruit of my own struggles, in which I try to give the final result a more universal character.
You use a precise plastic (artificial?) art process to make gold breakage. What do they mean?
The golden cracks are inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi. It is an art form that consists of repairing cracked ceramics with gold leaf. Not to hide the scars, but to emphasize the healing power. I found it to be a striking way of saying that my memories were no longer the same, and that from the scars, something much more beautiful appeared.
What visual can sum up the whole project?
The "You" image is my favourite. The ‘She’ (M: not really my daughter) looks at me, and at the same time, I feel like she's not really there. This ambiguity never ceases to intrigue me. Every time I see the image, I think of someone who is physically present, but already mentally far away. There's something behind his gaze.
Are your personal struggles your only source of inspiration?
I am very inspired by Asian photographers and Japanese art and design in general. I feel very attracted by their tranquility and minimalism. And I also like crafts very much. As a carpenter's daughter, I learned at a very young age to create things with my own hands. I also like to walk in museums to see the masters of the past. I am in love with most of the works of Gerhard Richter and Lucian Freud. I was totally overwhelmed by the earlier works of Pablo Picasso. But also, when I allow myself to be completely immersed in nature, my imagination bubbles. I then have the feeling that she is my mother and that touches me very deeply.
How do readers perceive your series?
They are touched very quickly. For the anecdote, I exhibited my series for the first time in Arles in 2018. On several occasions, women entered the gallery, saw the images and, without reading the text, started to cry because they had "felt" the message.
What is this message?
Embrace the uncertainty, it is there. It comes and goes, so if you can live with the flow of life, life itself will become easier. And try to do everything you do from a perspective of love and care.
Borders of Nothingness -On the Mend, The (m) editions, 96p. (300 copies numbered at 70 euros and 30 copies signed, numbered, accompanied by a collage on a handmade Kinsuki Washi paper with 23ct. of gold leaf at 270 euros)
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